Murder charges sought in immigrant's heat death

Murder charges sought in immigrant's heat death

Nathan Lamb; Elizabeth Kay Nathan Lamb; Elizabeth Kay

FLORENCE, Ariz. - An Arizona sheriff's office says it will ask for murder charges against two Phoenix residents after a man with heat exhaustion died after being found in a truck with other immigrants.

Pinal County Sheriff's spokesman Tim Gaffney says the office was notified early Wednesday that the victim, a man from Mexico, had died at a hospital. The victim's identity is being withheld pending notification of his family.

Gaffney says the sheriff's office will request a felony murder charge be filed against the driver, 25-year-old Nathan Lamb, and his passenger, 25-year-old Elizabeth Kay, both of Phoenix.

According to the sheriff's office, the man who died was among eight heat exhaustion victims found Sunday in the back of a truck parked at an Interstate 10 gas station northwest of Tucson.

Pinal County Sheriff's Department spokesman Tim Gaffney says a person called 911 after seeing people stagger out of the vehicle. There may have been up to 20 people stuffed into the back with no light or ventilation.

911 caller: "I have a U-Haul full of Mexicans in my parking lot, several of them are passing out on the ground and stumbling around. They've been piled up in the back of the U-Haul for I don't know how long... some of them are starting to walk off and pass out on the ground and stuff. They are upright but not moving around, one tried to stand up but almost fell so he sat right back down."

Three people remain hospitalized in critical condition.

"The pictures indicate there was some water but when you have 14-20 people inside a van on a day that's 118 with no ventilation, that van becomes an oven," said PCSO Chief Deputy Steve Henry.

Follow this story: People stuffed into U-Haul hospitalized for heat exhaustion

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press modified.

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